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Cork Wine

Continuum Proprietary Red 2011

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Quick Overview

Primary aromas of black cherry, mulberry, rose petal and Ethiopian coffee develop greater nuance as the wine breathes, revealing red cherry, chocolate, fig and cardamom. On the palate, ripe damson plum, savory aged beef and allspice infuse the wine’s silky tannins and rich velvety texture. The 2011 is full yet supple, with a long and complex finish and a vibrant core of minerality. Decant the 2011 and enjoy today or hold and cellar it for an additional 10 to 15 years.


Great estates have an advantage in that they produce superior wines every year, but especially so in challenging ones. 2011 brought us unusually cold and wet weather, more so than any other year in recent memory, but it also proved that our estate, no matter the season, grows great wine year in and year out. Abundant rainfall gave the estate a total of more than 45 inches for the year, continuing the cycle that began in 2010. Yet more than rain, it was the unseasonably cool weather, featuring a low average temperature of 75*, that made the difference in 2011. Bud break was normal, with a late bloom and small set, followed by a late veraison. Our growing cycle was about two weeks longer than usual with rainy periods in late spring, then again in late September/early October ending with a real deluge from November 4th on. Yet overall 2011, our latest harvest yet, was a blessing as it really proved how ideal this site is at 1600 ft. above the valley floor, protected from the fog, and wet weather with well draining soils, afternoon breezes and many long sunny days. 98% of the 2011 Continuum was grown on Pritchard Hill on the western hills above Oakville. Our 41 acres of mature estate vineyard, with an average age of 20 years, has a variety of western and south facing aspects with plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot. The remainder of the 2011 blend was sourced from vineyards on Mt. Veeder and Diamond Mountain. All 2011 fruit was harvested in two pickings, between October 17 and 21st and again from October 29th through November 3rd. 70% of the estate was picked the last five days of harvest. All fruit was selectively hand-harvested into small lug-boxes, sorted before and after de-stemming, then gravity fed into small French oak barrels, French oak tanks or cement tanks for fermentation. All lots had a lengthy maceration time, ranging from 21-43 days. During this time, pump overs and below the cap lees stirring were enacted daily. In addition, prior to pressing, rack and return was performed 3-4 times in each fermentation tank. After fermentation, all lots were drained, with pomace pressed separately, to 85% new small French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation. The lees were kept in barrel with the new wine for an extended period of stirring, to enrich the body, nourish the wine and polish the tannins. The wine was clarified slowly and naturally through the use of traditional settling and racking techniques and bottled without fining or filtration. Each vineyard lot was tasted and carefully considered when assembling the 2011. In the end, 30% of potential lots were declassified as they did not meet Continuum’s standard of quality. The 2011 spent 19 months in barrel.
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